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Marshall Rosenberg

Speaking my truth

When we speak our truth, we embrace all of who we are. Living this practice in our lives, bringing this wisdom and compassion out in the company of others, asks us to be completely ourselves, to bring forward our truth in words and actions... Speaking our truth may open up things that may be a little "ouch-y", but when they appear we can bring our empathy, we can bring our presence. In that way,...
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The gift of gratitude

Open grave strewn with flowers
On Saturday I accompanied Shantigarbha to the funeral of his Buddhist teacher, Sangharakshita — founder of the Triratna Buddhist Order and Community. It was the first time I had participated in a Buddhist funeral ceremony. Sangharakshita was 93 years old, and had started the community 50 years ago. The community has grown over the years and is now spread over six continents, so people came to t...
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Empathy Archery

Empathy is a respectful understanding of another person’s experience. Since I’ve been learning how to empathize, I've often got it ‘wrong’. What I mean is that the person I was listening to told me, either by a shake of the head or by a ‘No’, that my empathy guess hadn’t landed. I had the sense of firing arrows towards a distant target, and most of them falling short or going wide. At those moment...
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The Significance of Self-Empathy

At the moment we’re running our 6-week Nonviolent Communication (NVC) courses here in Bristol. There are lots of things I enjoy about the courses. One example is what happens after I’ve introduced the Tree of Compassionate Connection. I use the Tree to share the idea of self-empathy as the first step to ground ourselves, to create an inner space, from which we are able listening with empathy. Part...
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Feelings are Feedback

In September 2017 I co-led a module of our NVC Training Programme in northern India. A few days’ later, we met with three of the participants who had stayed in the area. After catching up, the conversation turned to the retreat and its impact. One of the participants from Mumbai wanted us to know how powerful it had been for her, “Just that one sentence, about respecting feelings, this was really ...
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Rehumanizing Trump

  This is a hard post for me to write. Part of me resists the idea of seeing Donald Trump as a human being. It’s safer and easier to stay with the fear and derision I feel towards him. Shortly after Trump took office, I was on Skype to a liberal-leaning friend who lives on the East Coast. He was genuinely scared of what was happening to his country. I asked him, “Are you afraid that you’ll...
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Giraffe and Jackal Ears Exercise

Some time ago I did an exercise with a group of participants on a training in Stourbridge, UK, famous for its Rudolph Steiner connection and the Camphill Trust. The purpose of the exercise was to get clear about the choices I have when I hear a message. I asked the participants if they were fed up with hearing blame and criticism, and suggested (playfully!) that they need never hear blame and crit...
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